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Feature: Revisiting ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’ 16 years on

"As time passes, 16 yrs to be exact.. the memories come rushing back...making DTPH (Dil To Pagal Hai) seem aur paas...aur paas (making DTPH seem close). Thanks Madhuri, Karisma, Yashji and team," said SRK on Twitter earlier today (31 October 2013).

Would you believe it’s been 16 years since Yash Chopra’s epic romance Dil To Pagal Hai released? I remember the hype and craze that surrounded the film. Whether it was the lilting, timeless melodies by newcomer Uttam Singh, Madhuri Dixi’s dazzling smile, Shah Rukh Khan’s effervescent energy, or Karisma Kapoor’s award winning turn in a small yet scene stealing role, Dil To Pagal Hai strikes a chord even today.

SRK-Madhuri-Karisma shone in Dil To Pagal Hai

The story was simple, and in fact in hindsight quite weak. SRK’s Rahul manages a dance troupe, of which Nisha is a member. They’re friends but Nisha harbours a torch for Rahul who sees their relationship as strictly platonic. The troupe embark on organising a new musical, and this is when Rahul meets Pooja (Madhuri), a doey eyed orphan who lives in the clouds and believes in fairy tale romances. Their growing fondness gets Nisha’s back up but fortunately in Yash Chopra’s fluffy world, love triangles are resolved amicably and protagonists settle for friendship quicker than you can say, “I think you just nicked the love of my life you man eating bitch.”

The film swept a bunch of awards and ended Madhuri’s dry patch at the box office — her career until then was practically in the doldrums after a series of disastrous films. Dil To Pagal Hai was by no means her best performance, but she got away with it purely because the industry was consistently rooting for her, and probably because no matter how many awful films she starred in, her talent was, and still remains unquestionable. 

Karisma Kapoor’s National Award raised a few eyebrows too. She was definitely good in the film and looked like a zillion bucks, but her turn as the lovelorn, yet feisty Nisha was hardly worthy of the coveted award. Similarly, Shah Rukh Khan sweeping the FIlmfare trophy was a tad dubious too, especially since Anil Kapoor’s performance in Virasat that same year was by far the superlative one.

'Hum Dono Ek Dusre Ke Liye Bane Hain' - Scene - Dil To Pagal Hai  

There were several scenes in the film which made it to the 'Bollywood hall of unforgettable scenes'. The ‘aur paas’ scene between SRK and Madhuri brought out the as yet untapped chemistry between the duo, and till date touches you with it’s raw magnetism. 

The lake scene between SRK and Karisma, where the latter blames the almighty for her vulnerability was by far one of Karisma’s better scenes. It was simple, effective and beautifully portrayed and is by far one of my favourite scenes from the film.

The dance off between Karisma and Madhuri was another highlight. Both actresses were known for their dancing abilities even though they had different styles, and the way Chopra makes them both shine in that sequence is commendable.

'I Really Love You.. Rahul' - Scene - Dil To Pagal Hai 

There were several downers though. Akshay Kumar’s surprise act turned out to be anything but, and his hyper geek act was more irritating than it was lovable. And having talents like Aruna Irani, Deven Verma and Farida Jalal in a film and not tapping their full potential or fleshing out their characters properly was nothing short of a blunder on Chopra’s part.

Still for all it’s flaws, Dil To Pagal Hai, still remains a classic. It was what Yash Chopra was all about. It proved that decent performances can still lift a rather mundane script and make a film watchable. And yes, great music and flawless picturisations still have their place in Hindi films if utilised and placed correctly. 

So without much ado here’s to 16 years of Dil To Pagal Hai  — it may be recycled mush. It may be cheese. It may be fluff. But was and will always remain a classic and one of the films that Yash Chopra will be remembered for.

What are your favourite scenes/songs from the film? Let us know below!

Video: Are Re Are — Dil To Pagal Hai 

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